Leah Green

Darling Downs tradies needed for 11% construction upturn

Civil construction workers, earthmoving plant operators, concreters and labourers will be in hot local demand over the next few years, with Darling Downs workers urged to take advantage of a $37.6 million training package announced today.

With an 11% increase in general construction activity forecast for the region, training and upskilling of the local workforce will be critical to ensure there are enough skilled workers to meet the increased demand.

Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) today announced the $37.6M training investment package as part of its 2019-2020 Annual Training Plan, with specific training programs to match forecast industry activity and skilling requirements of major projects.

Speaking to industry in Toowoomba today, CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said the Darling Downs has a growing pipeline of construction activity planned and underway.

“Darling Downs is projected to deliver an estimated $3.5B in construction activity over the next 12 months – an increase of 11% on the previous 12 months,” Mr Schimming said.

“This activity will be driven by an acceleration in engineering work connected to various large projects – around 100 major construction projects confirmed for delivery over the next 2-3 years, with a further 160 potential projects planned but not yet committed.

“The major project pipeline is valued at between $900 million (committed) and $7.2 billion (committed + potential) over the coming years.

“Big civil infrastructure projects like the Yarranlea Solar Farm and Roma Hospital and are typical of the kinds of works driving up activity.

“With the majority of these projects being large engineering projects, CSQ predicts an increased demand for civil construction workers, including earthmoving plant operators, concreters and labourers.”

“Our priority is making sure that these projects have a skilled and available local workforce to match changing project needs at various stages of their delivery and that is where this CSQ training investment comes in.

“It is also an opportunity for local workers to upskill by doing some training to take advantage of the new opportunities coming up in the Darling Downs employment scene,” he said.

The top 5 major construction projects committed or underway in the Darling Downs’ include:

1.       Yarranlea Solar Farm $240,000,000 Underway
2.       Roma Hospital $74,000,000 Underway
3.       Seachange Lifestyle Resort Toowoomba $71,000,000 Underway
4.       Toowoomba Council Principal Depot Project $45,000,000 Committed
5.       Grassdale Feedlot Project $35,000,000 Committed